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 for Iran
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Iran \I`ran"\ ([=e]`r[aum]n"), n. [Mod. Persian Ir[=a]n. Cf.
     The native name of Persia, the name adopted by the modern
     nation of Iran.
     [1913 Webster +PJC]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: a theocratic Islamic republic in the Middle East in western
           Asia; Iran was the core of the ancient empire that was
           known as Persia until 1935; rich in oil [syn: Iran,
           Islamic Republic of Iran, Persia]

From CIA World Factbook 2002 :

     Introduction Iran
                              Background: Known as Persia until 1935, Iran
                                          became an Islamic republic in 1979
                                          after the ruling shah was forced
                                          into exile. Conservative clerical
                                          forces subsequently crushed
                                          westernizing liberal elements.
                                          Militant Iranian students seized the
                                          US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November
                                          1979 and held it until 20 January
                                          1981. During 1980-88, Iran fought a
                                          bloody, indecisive war with Iraq
                                          over disputed territory. Key current
                                          issues affecting the country include
                                          the pace of accepting outside
                                          modernizing influences and
                                          reconciliation between clerical
                                          control of the regime and popular
                                          government participation and
                                          widespread demands for reform.
     Geography Iran
                                Location: Middle East, bordering the Gulf of
                                          Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the
                                          Caspian Sea, between Iraq and
                  Geographic coordinates: 32 00 N, 53 00 E
                          Map references: Middle East
                                    Area: total: 1.648 million sq km
                                          land: 1.636 million sq km
                                          water: 12,000 sq km
                      Area - comparative: slightly larger than Alaska
                         Land boundaries: total: 5,440 km
                                          border countries: Afghanistan 936
                                          km, Armenia 35 km, Azerbaijan-proper
                                          432 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave
                                          179 km, Iraq 1,458 km, Pakistan 909
                                          km, Turkey 499 km, Turkmenistan 992
                               Coastline: 2,440 km; note - Iran also borders
                                          the Caspian Sea (740 km)
                         Maritime claims: contiguous zone: 24 NM
                                          territorial sea: 12 NM
                                          continental shelf: natural
                                          exclusive economic zone: bilateral
                                          agreements or median lines in the
                                          Persian Gulf
                                 Climate: mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical
                                          along Caspian coast
                                 Terrain: rugged, mountainous rim; high,
                                          central basin with deserts,
                                          mountains; small, discontinuous
                                          plains along both coasts
                      Elevation extremes: lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m
                                          highest point: kuh-e Damavand 5,671
                       Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, coal,
                                          chromium, copper, iron ore, lead,
                                          manganese, zinc, sulfur
                                Land use: arable land: 10.17%
                                          permanent crops: 1.16%
                                          other: 88.67% (1998 est.)
                          Irrigated land: 75,620 sq km (1998 est.)
                         Natural hazards: periodic droughts, floods; dust
                                          storms, sandstorms; earthquakes
                                          along western border and in the
            Environment - current issues: air pollution, especially in urban
                                          areas, from vehicle emissions,
                                          refinery operations, and industrial
                                          effluents; deforestation;
                                          overgrazing; desertification; oil
                                          pollution in the Persian Gulf;
                                          wetland losses from drought; soil
                                          degradation (salination); inadequate
                                          supplies of potable water; water
                                          pollution from raw sewage and
                                          industrial waste; urbanization
              Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
                              agreements: Change, Desertification, Endangered
                                          Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine
                                          Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone
                                          Layer Protection, Wetlands
                                          signed, but not ratified:
                                          Environmental Modification, Law of
                                          the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
                        Geography - note: strategic location on the Persian
                                          Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, which are
                                          vital maritime pathways for crude
                                          oil transport
     People Iran
                              Population: 66,622,704 (July 2002 est.)
                           Age structure: 0-14 years: 31.6% (male 10,753,218;
                                          female 10,273,015)
                                          15-64 years: 63.7% (male 21,383,542;
                                          female 21,096,307)
                                          65 years and over: 4.7% (male
                                          1,633,016; female 1,483,606) (2002
                  Population growth rate: 0.77% (2002 est.)
                              Birth rate: 17.54 births/1,000 population (2002
                              Death rate: 5.39 deaths/1,000 population (2002
                      Net migration rate: -4.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population
                                          (2002 est.)
                               Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
                                          under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
                                          15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
                                          65 years and over: 1.1 male(s)/
                                          total population: 1.03 male(s)/
                                          female (2002 est.)
                   Infant mortality rate: 28.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
                Life expectancy at birth: total population: 70.25 years
                                          female: 71.69 years (2002 est.)
                                          male: 68.87 years
                    Total fertility rate: 2.01 children born/woman (2002 est.)
        HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: less than 0.01% (1999 est.)
       HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
                       HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
                             Nationality: noun: Iranian(s)
                                          adjective: Iranian
                           Ethnic groups: Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and
                                          Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%,
                                          Lur 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other
                               Religions: Shi'a Muslim 89%, Sunni Muslim 10%,
                                          Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and
                                          Baha'i 1%
                               Languages: Persian and Persian dialects 58%,
                                          Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%,
                                          Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%,
                                          Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%
                                Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read
                                          and write
                                          total population: 72.1%
                                          male: 78.4%
                                          female: 65.8% (1994 est.)
     Government Iran
                            Country name: conventional long form: Islamic
                                          Republic of Iran
                                          conventional short form: Iran
                                          local short form: Iran
                                          local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-
                                          ye Iran
                                          former: Persia
                         Government type: theocratic republic
                                 Capital: Tehran
                Administrative divisions: 28 provinces (ostanha, singular -
                                          ostan); Ardabil, Azarbayjan-
                                          e Gharbi, Azarbayjan-e Sharqi,
                                          Bushehr, Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari,
                                          Esfahan, Fars, Gilan, Golestan,
                                          Hamadan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Kerman,
                                          Kermanshah, Khorasan, Khuzestan,
                                          Kohkiluyeh va Buyer Ahmad,
                                          Kordestan, Lorestan, Markazi,
                                          Mazandaran, Qazvin, Qom, Semnan,
                                          Sistan va Baluchestan, Tehran, Yazd,
                            Independence: 1 April 1979 (Islamic Republic of
                                          Iran proclaimed)
                        National holiday: Republic Day, 1 April (1979)
                            Constitution: 2-3 December 1979; revised 1989 to
                                          expand powers of the presidency and
                                          eliminate the prime ministership
                            Legal system: the Constitution codifies Islamic
                                          principles of government
                                Suffrage: 15 years of age; universal
                        Executive branch: chief of state: Leader of the
                                          Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali
                                          Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since 4 June 1989)
                                          elections: leader of the Islamic
                                          Revolution appointed for life by the
                                          Assembly of Experts; president
                                          elected by popular vote for a four-
                                          year term; election last held 8 June
                                          2001 (next to be held NA 2005)
                                          election results: (Ali) Mohammad
                                          KHATAMI-Ardakani reelected
                                          president; percent of vote - (Ali)
                                          Mohammad KHATAMI-Ardakani 77%
                                          cabinet: Council of Ministers
                                          selected by the president with
                                          legislative approval
                                          head of government: President (Ali)
                                          Mohammad KHATAMI-Ardakani (since 3
                                          August 1997); First Vice President
                                          Dr. Mohammad Reza AREF-YAZDI (since
                                          26 August 2001)
                      Legislative branch: unicameral Islamic Consultative
                                          Assembly or Majles-e-Shura-ye-Eslami
                                          (290 seats, note - changed from 270
                                          seats with the 18 February 2000
                                          election; members elected by popular
                                          vote to serve four-year terms)
                                          elections: last held 18 February-NA
                                          April 2000 (next to be held NA 2004)
                                          election results: percent of vote -
                                          NA%; seats by party - reformers 170,
                                          conservatives 45, and independents
                                          10, 65 seats up for runoff; note -
                                          election on 5 May 2000 (reformers
                                          52, conservatives 10, independents
                         Judicial branch: Supreme Court
           Political parties and leaders: the following organizations appeared
                                          to have achieved considerable
                                          success at elections to the sixth
                                          Majlis in early 2000: Assembly of
                                          the Followers of the Imam's Line,
                                          Freethinkers' Front, Islamic Iran
                                          Participation Front, Moderation and
                                          Development Party, Servants of
                                          Construction Party, Society of Self-
                                          sacrificing Devotees
            Political pressure groups and active student groups include the
                                 leaders: pro-reform "Organization for
                                          Strengthening Unity" and "the Union
                                          of Islamic Student Societies';
                                          groups that generally support the
                                          Islamic Republic include Ansar-
                                          e Hizballah, Mojahedin of the
                                          Islamic Revolution, Muslim Students
                                          Following the Line of the Imam, and
                                          the Islamic Coalition Association;
                                          opposition groups include the
                                          Liberation Movement of Iran and the
                                          Nation of Iran party; armed
                                          political groups that have been
                                          almost completely repressed by the
                                          government include Mojahedin-e Khalq
                                          Organization (MEK), People's
                                          Fedayeen, Democratic Party of
                                          Iranian Kurdistan; the Society for
                                          the Defense of Freedom
               International organization CCC, CP, ECO, ESCAP, FAO, G-19, G-
                           participation: 24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC,
                                          ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS,
                                          IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC,
                                          IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OPEC,
                                          PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR,
                                          UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO,
                                          WMO, WToO
     Diplomatic representation in the US: none; note - Iran has an Interests
                                          Section in the Pakistani Embassy;
                                          address: Iranian Interests Section,
                                          Pakistani Embassy, 2209 Wisconsin
                                          Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007;
                                          telephone: [1] (202) 965-4990
       Diplomatic representation from the none; note - protecting power in
                                      US: Iran is Switzerland
                        Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of
                                          green (top), white, and red; the
                                          national emblem (a stylized
                                          representation of the word Allah in
                                          the shape of a tulip, a symbol of
                                          martyrdom) in red is centered in the
                                          white band; ALLAH AKBAR (God is
                                          Great) in white Arabic script is
                                          repeated 11 times along the bottom
                                          edge of the green band and 11 times
                                          along the top edge of the red band
     Economy Iran
                      Economy - overview: Iran's economy is a mixture of
                                          central planning, state ownership of
                                          oil and other large enterprises,
                                          village agriculture, and small-scale
                                          private trading and service
                                          ventures. President KHATAMI has
                                          continued to follow the market
                                          reform plans of former President
                                          RAFSANJANI and has indicated that he
                                          will pursue diversification of
                                          Iran's oil-reliant economy although
                                          he has made little progress toward
                                          that goal. The strong oil market in
                                          1996 helped ease financial pressures
                                          on Iran and allowed for Tehran's
                                          timely debt service payments. Iran's
                                          financial situation tightened in
                                          1997 and deteriorated further in
                                          1998 because of lower oil prices.
                                          The subsequent rise in oil prices in
                                          1999-2000 afforded Iran fiscal
                                          breathing room but does not solve
                                          Iran's structural economic problems,
                                          including the encouragement of
                                          foreign investment.
                                     GDP: purchasing power parity - $426
                                          billion (2001 est.)
                  GDP - real growth rate: 5% (2001 est.)
                        GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $6,400
                                          (2001 est.)
             GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 20%
                                          industry: 24%
                                          services: 56% (2001 est.)
           Population below poverty line: 53% (1996 est.)
       Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
                        percentage share: highest 10%: NA%
        Inflation rate (consumer prices): 13% (2001 est.)
                             Labor force: 18 million
                                          note: shortage of skilled labor
             Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 30%, industry 25%,
                                          services 45% (2001 est.)
                       Unemployment rate: 14% (1999 est.)
                                  Budget: revenues: $24 billion
                                          expenditures: $22 billion, including
                                          capital expenditures of $NA (2001
                              Industries: petroleum, petrochemicals, textiles,
                                          cement and other construction
                                          materials, food processing
                                          (particularly sugar refining and
                                          vegetable oil production), metal
                                          fabricating, armaments
       Industrial production growth rate: 5.5% (2001 nonoil est.)
                Electricity - production: 120.33 billion kWh (2000)
      Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 94.24%
                                          hydro: 5.76%
                                          other: 0% (2000)
                                          nuclear: 0%
               Electricity - consumption: 111.907 billion kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
                   Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
                  Agriculture - products: wheat, rice, other grains, sugar
                                          beets, fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy
                                          products, wool; caviar
                                 Exports: $27.4 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
                   Exports - commodities: petroleum 85%, carpets, fruits and
                                          nuts, iron and steel, chemicals
                      Exports - partners: Japan 20.5%, Italy 7%, UAE 5.9%,
                                          France 4.7%, China 4.1% (1999)
                                 Imports: $17.2 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
                   Imports - commodities: industrial raw materials and
                                          intermediate goods, capital goods,
                                          foodstuffs and other consumer goods,
                                          technical services, military
                      Imports - partners: Germany 11%, Italy 8.3%, China 6.1%,
                                          Japan 5.3%, UAE 5% (1999)
                         Debt - external: $7.3 billion (2001 est.)
                Economic aid - recipient: $116.5 million (1995)
                                Currency: Iranian rial (IRR)
                           Currency code: IRR
                          Exchange rates: from 1997 to 2001, Iran had a multi-
                                          exchange-rate system; one of these
                                          rates, the official floating
                                          exchange rate, by which most
                                          essential goods were imported,
                                          averaged 1,750 rials per US dollar;
                                          in March 2002, the multi-exchange-
                                          rate system was converged into one
                                          rate at about 7,900 rials per US
                             Fiscal year: 21 March - 20 March
     Communications Iran
          Telephones - main lines in use: 6.313 million (1997)
            Telephones - mobile cellular: 265,000 (August 1998)
                        Telephone system: general assessment: inadequate but
                                          currently being modernized and
                                          expanded with the goal of not only
                                          improving the efficiency and
                                          increasing the volume of the urban
                                          service but also bringing telephone
                                          service to several thousand
                                          villages, not presently connected
                                          domestic: as a result of heavy
                                          investing in the telephone system
                                          since 1994, the number of long-
                                          distance channels in the microwave
                                          radio relay trunk has grown
                                          substantially; many villages have
                                          been brought into the net; the
                                          number of main lines in the urban
                                          systems has approximately doubled;
                                          and thousands of mobile cellular
                                          subscribers are being served;
                                          moreover, the technical level of the
                                          system has been raised by the
                                          installation of thousands of digital
                                          international: HF radio and
                                          microwave radio relay to Turkey,
                                          Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan,
                                          Turkmenistan, Syria, Kuwait,
                                          Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan;
                                          submarine fiber-optic cable to UAE
                                          with access to Fiber-Optic Link
                                          Around the Globe (FLAG); Trans-Asia-
                                          Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line runs
                                          from Azerbaijan through the northern
                                          portion of Iran to Turkmenistan with
                                          expansion to Georgia and Azerbaijan;
                                          satellite earth stations - 9
                                          Intelsat and 4 Inmarsat; Internet
                                          service available but limited to
                                          electronic mail to promote Iranian
                Radio broadcast stations: AM 72, FM 5, shortwave 5 (1998)
                                  Radios: 17 million (1997)
           Television broadcast stations: 28 (plus 450 low-power repeaters)
                             Televisions: 4.61 million (1997)
                   Internet country code: .ir
       Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 8 (2000)
                          Internet users: 250,000 (2001)
     Transportation Iran
                                Railways: total: 6,130 km
                                          broad gauge: 94 km 1.676-m gauge
                                          standard gauge: 6,036 km 1.435-
                                          m gauge (187 km electrified)
                                          note: broad-gauge track is employed
                                          at the borders with Azerbaijan and
                                          Turkmenistan which have broad-gauge
                                          rail systems; 41 km of the standard-
                                          gauge, electrified track is in
                                          suburban service at Tehran (2001)
                                Highways: total: 140,200 km
                                          paved: 49,440 km (including 470 km
                                          of expressways)
                                          unpaved: 90,760 km (1998 est.)
                               Waterways: 904 km
                                          note: the Shatt al Arab is usually
                                          navigable by maritime traffic for
                                          about 130 km; channel has been
                                          dredged to 3 m and is in use
                               Pipelines: crude oil 5,900 km; petroleum
                                          products 3,900 km; natural gas 4,550
                       Ports and harbors: Abadan (largely destroyed in
                                          fighting during 1980-88 war), Ahvaz,
                                          Bandar 'Abbas, Bandar-e Anzali,
                                          Bushehr, Bandar-e Emam Khomeyni,
                                          Bandar-e Lengeh, Bandar-e Mahshahr,
                                          Bandar-e Torkaman, Chabahar (Bandar
                                          Beheshti), Jazireh-ye Khark,
                                          Jazireh-ye Lavan, Jazireh-ye Sirri,
                                          Khorramshahr (limited operation
                                          since November 1992), Now Shahr
                         Merchant marine: total: 147 ships (1,000 GRT or over)
                                          totaling 4,136,971 GRT/7,166,703 DWT
                                          ships by type: bulk 48, cargo 36,
                                          chemical tanker 4, container 10,
                                          liquefied gas 1, multi-functional
                                          large-load carrier 6, petroleum
                                          tanker 30, refrigerated cargo 2,
                                          roll on/roll off 9, short-sea
                                          passenger 1 (2002 est.)
                                Airports: 322 (2001)
           Airports - with paved runways: total: 118
                                          over 3,047 m: 40
                                          2,438 to 3,047 m: 24
                                          914 to 1,523 m: 23
                                          under 914 m: 7 (2001)
                                          1,524 to 2,437 m: 24
         Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 204
                                          under 914 m: 63 (2001)
                                          over 3,047 m: 1
                                          2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
                                          914 to 1,523 m: 124
                                          1,524 to 2,437 m: 13
                               Heliports: 11 (2001)
     Military Iran
                       Military branches: Islamic Republic of Iran regular
                                          forces (includes Ground Forces,
                                          Navy, Air Force and Air Defense
                                          Command), Iranian Revolutionary
                                          Guards Corps (IRGC) (includes Ground
                                          Forces, Air Force, Navy, Qods
                                          [special operations], and Basij
                                          [Popular Mobilization Army] forces),
                                          Law Enforcement Forces
        Military manpower - military age: 21 years of age (2002 est.)
        Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 18,868,571 (2002
     Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 11,192,731 (2002
                                 service: est.)
             Military manpower - reaching males: 823,041 (2002 est.)
                   military age annually:
           Military expenditures - dollar $9.7 billion (FY00)
       Military expenditures - percent of 3.1% (FY00)
     Transnational Issues Iran
                Disputes - international: despite restored diplomatic
                                          relations in 1990, Iran lacks
                                          maritime boundary with Iraq and
                                          disputes land boundary, navigation
                                          channels, and other issues from
                                          eight-year war; UAE seeks United
                                          Arab League and other international
                                          support against Iran's occupation of
                                          Greater Tunb Island (called Tunb al
                                          Kubra in Arabic by UAE and Jazireh-
                                          ye Tonb-e Bozorg in Persian by Iran)
                                          and Lesser Tunb Island (called Tunb
                                          as Sughra in Arabic by UAE and
                                          Jazireh-ye Tonb-e Kuchek in Persian
                                          by Iran) and attempts to occupy
                                          completely a jointly administered
                                          island in the Persian Gulf (called
                                          Abu Musa in Arabic by UAE and
                                          Jazireh-ye Abu Musa in Persian by
                                          Iran); Iran insists on division of
                                          Caspian Sea into five equal sectors
                                          while Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan,
                                          Russia, and Turkmenistan have
                                          generally agreed upon equidistant
                                          seabed boundaries; Iran threatens to
                                          conduct oil exploration in
                                          Azerbaijani-claimed waters, while
                                          interdicting Azerbaijani activities
                           Illicit drugs: despite substantial interdiction
                                          efforts, Iran remains a key
                                          transshipment point for Southwest
                                          Asian heroin to Europe; domestic
                                          narcotics consumption remains a
                                          persistent problem and Iranian press
                                          reports estimate at least 1.8
                                          million drug users in the country

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